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Changes in non-occupational sedentary behaviours across the retirement transition: the Finnish Retirement and Aging (FIREA) study
  1. Tuija Leskinen1,2,
  2. Anna Pulakka1,
  3. Olli J Heinonen2,
  4. Jaana Pentti1,3,
  5. Mika Kivimäki3,4,5,
  6. Jussi Vahtera1,
  7. Sari Stenholm1
  1. 1 Department of Public Health, University of Turku and Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland
  2. 2 Paavo Nurmi Centre & Department of Health and Physical Activity, University of Turku, Turku, Finland
  3. 3 Clinicum, Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
  4. 4 Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Helsinki, Finland
  5. 5 Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Tuija Leskinen, Department of Public Health, University of Turku and Turku University Hospital, 20500 Turku, Finland; tuija.leskinen{at}


Background Retirement is a major life transition which may influence health behaviours and time use. Little is known about how sedentary behaviour changes as a result of increased time availability after retirement. The aim of this study was to examine changes in non-occupational sedentary behaviours across the retirement transition. In addition, we examined which preretirement characteristics were associated with these changes.

Methods The study population consisted of 2011 participants from the Finnish Retirement and Aging Study. Repeated postal survey including questions on sedentary behaviour domains (television viewing, computer use at home, sitting in a vehicle and other sitting) were conducted once a year across the retirement transition, covering on average 3.4 study waves. Linear regression with generalised estimating equations was used for the analyses.

Results Total sedentary time increased by 73 (95% CI 66 to 80) min/day during the retirement transition. Of the domain-specific sedentary behaviours, television viewing time increased by 28 (95% CI 25 to 32) min/day, computer use at home by 19 (95% CI 17 to 22) min/day and other sitting time by 37 (95% CI 33 to 41) min/day, while time sitting in a vehicle decreased by 6 (95% CI 4 to 9) min/day. Highest increase in total sedentary time was among women and persons who had high occupational sitting time, low physical activity level, sleep difficulties, mental disorders or poor health before retirement (all p values for interaction <0.03).

Conclusion Total and domain-specific sedentary time, except sitting in a vehicle, increased during the retirement transition.

  • cohort studies
  • health behaviour
  • lifestyle
  • longitudinal studies
  • public health

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  • Contributors SS and JV designed this study and the data collection. TL analysed the data and drafted the manuscript. All authors contributed to data interpretation, revised article critically and approved the final version of manuscript.

  • Funding This work was supported by Juho Vainio Foundation, Finland (to TL and SS); the Academy of Finland (Grants 286294 and 294154 to SS; 311492 to MK; 309526 to TL); Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture (to SS); Nordforsk (to MK and JV); and the UK MRC (Grant K013351 to MK).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Ethics approval The FIREA study was conducted in line with the Declaration of Helsinki and was approved by the Ethics Committee of Hospital District of Southwest Finland.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data sharing statement The datasets used and analysed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.